Bone Density Scan (DEXA)

Get a Bone Density Scan at Touchstone Medical Imaging

Osteoporosis—a disease that occurs when you lose too much bone or don’t make enough—weakens your bones, increases your risk of fractures and challenges your ability to live an active lifestyle. As you age, your doctor may recommend monitoring your bone mass over time through a DEXA scan. DEXA scans are the only imaging capable of detecting osteoporosis before a fracture occurs, allowing you and your doctor to plan and start treatment quickly.

How It Works

A DEXA scan (also known as a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scan or a bone-density test) uses low-dose X-rays to measure your bone mass. The most common type of DEXA scan—known as a central DEXA scan—measures the bone mass in your hips and spine.

Reasons for Bone Density Scan (DEXA)

You lose bone throughout life as part of the body’s natural process of replacing old bone with new. Around age 30, the rate of bone loss begins to outpace the rate of bone replacement, setting the stage for the potential of osteoporosis. Anyone can develop osteoporosis, but women have a higher risk than men. Your risk for osteoporosis increases with these factors:

  • Aging
  • Alcohol intake
  • Calcium or Vitamin D deficiency
  • Certain types of medicines, including glucocorticoids
  • Family history of osteoporosis
  • Lack of exercise
  • Low body weight
  • Smoking

Patient Reviews

Our patients say it best. Touchstone Imaging provides welcoming, comforting outpatient facilities with friendly and helpful staff.

Front office staff was extremely friendly and helpful. Technician was absolutely wonderful. Extremely friendly, kept me informed during the entire process of what she was doing and what would be happening next.
Tina J.
I had to take my 11-year-old in for an MRI of his knee. It was one of the best experiences we’ve had at a medical office in a long time. Everyone was friendly, informative, and professional.
Jodi E.
I had to get a brain MRI back in November. The check in process was fast and friendly. I didn’t have to wait long before being taken to the back to get prepped for my procedure. The staff made me feel at ease and the environment is very calming and tranquil. The MRI tech checked on me constantly during the procedure and kept me informed as to which part of the exam we are completing. I can’t remember her name but she was very nice and pleasant. If I ever have to get another diagnostic test, I will be returning here.
Brian V.
Everyone was excellent! I was acknowledged and welcomed when I entered the building. Front staff were professional and courteous when discussing paperwork. Friendly smiles. My technician impressed me as being highly trained in her field. Her personal and professional skills are awesome. Enjoyed something I wasn’t looking forward to.
Evangelina B.
Friendly staff. I called and got an appointment that fit my schedule. Quick check in. Relatively short wait time compared to a lot of medical facilities. The technician was friendly, gave clear instructions and made me feel comfortable. I was out in less than an hour.
Wendy B.
Great place, people, and atmosphere was awesome. The guy that brought me to the back had me laughing the whole way. They checked in on me a few times in the MRI machine to make sure I was doing ok and it made me feel more comfortable. I would recommend this place to anyone needing an MRI done.
Jon C.
Woman with hip pain hula hooping. Needs a CT scan to identify pain.

Choose accurate imaging and convenient service with Touchstone

Touchstone Medical Imaging provides DEXA – Bone Density – imaging at up to 60% less than the cost of hospital-based imaging. Many locations offer extended and weekend hours, with same-day and next-day appointment options, to meet your busy schedule. Touchstone provides imaging services in a compassionate environment with convenient, easy-to-access locations in a compassionate environment, where our technologists will guide you seamlessly through your appointment. You can be confident that our team of fellowship-trained, subspecialty radiologists will give your doctors the clarity they need to help make a diagnosis.

Bone Density Frequently Asked Questions

What happens during a bone density scan?

This test is completely painless and noninvasive. You will lie still on a table positioned between an X-ray generator below and a detector above. The detector will move slowly over your hip and spine. The test typically takes no more than 30 minutes.

Our radiologist will send your results to the doctor who ordered your test. If the results reveal that you have osteoporosis or are at risk for it, your doctor will recommend ways to improve your bone health and reduce your fracture risk.

How should I prepare for a bone density scan (DEXA)?

A DEXA scan at Touchstone Medical Imaging requires minimal preparation. You can eat and drink normally leading up to the test, but if you use calcium supplements, you shouldn’t take them for 24 hours before the scan.

Dress in loose, comfortable clothes. Avoid belts or clothing that have zippers or metal buttons. Leave jewelry at home. If you wear glasses, you may need to remove them during the scan.

Tell your doctor and the imaging team ahead of time if you are pregnant or have recently had an imaging scan involving barium or contrast material. In these instances, your DEXA scan may be delayed or administered with extra safety precautions.

Who is a candidate for a DEXA scan?

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends bone density testing to help prevent fractures for:
– Women aged 65 or older
– Women aged 64 and younger who have reached menopause and have a higher risk of osteoporosis
In addition, ask your primary care doctor if a DEXA scan would be appropriate if you fall into one of the following categories:
– People who have had a fracture after age 50
– Men ages 50–69 who have osteoporosis risk factors
– Men aged 70 or older

How often should I get a bone density test?

Recommendations for testing frequency are determined by your risk factors and previous testing results. You may need one DEXA test initially and then you may not need another test for up to 15 years if you have healthy bone density. However, if your scan indicates you have osteopenia or osteoporosis, you may need DEXA scans more frequently. Your doctor can advise you on DEXA frequency.

What does a bone density test show?

DEXA scans are used to measure bone mineral density. This information can help us determine your likelihood for bone fractures and osteoporosis.

Can a DEXA bone density scan show cancer?

While a DEXA scan isn’t typically used to diagnose cancer, it can provide your care team with important information to help them determine whether additional testing is needed or if cancer has spread into your bones.

What are the T- and Z-scores?

Once your bone density scan is complete, the results are detailed by two different scores:

T-Score is the difference between your bone density and that of an average healthy person. This score is used to determine your risk of breaking a bone.

Z-Score is the amount of bone you have compared to other people of the same age, race and gender. A score that is too high or too low may require more testing.

*Some or all of the health care providers performing services at Touchstone Imaging are independent contractors and are not Touchstone’s agents or employees. Independent contractors are responsible for their own actions, and Touchstone shall not be liable for the acts or omissions of any such independent contractors.